2 Timothy 4:1

2 Tim 4:1 [Textus Receptus (Elzevir) (1624)]713-714
Διαμαρτύρομαι οὖν ἐγὼ ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τοῦ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ·

2 Tim 4:1 [Codex Sinaiticus (א or 01) (4th century)]

2 Tim 4:1 [Codex Alexandrinus (Royal MS 1 D VIII) (A02) (5th century)]

2 Tim 4:1 [Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus (Grec 9) (C04) (5th century)]

2 Tim 4:1 [Codex Claromontanus (Grec 107) (D06) (5th century)]


Critical Apparatus :




A Textual Commentary On 2 Timothy 4:1

(a) It may be fully admitted , that ancient authorities may agree in upholding a reading which cannot be the true one. passage, however, where this is supposed, the whole case must be. examined, so as to see whether there is really something incon gruous in the ancient reading, or whether the objection springs from subjective feeling, and from that alone. If there is a certain error, let us next inquire if any means of correction are supplied, and if evidence does not furnish us with such, then we must avoid having recourse to the modern conjecture which recent traditional copies might supply. Better by far is it to preserve an ancient work of art which bears the marks of the injuries of time, than to submit it to the clumsy hands of some mere workman who would wish to mend it. If somewhat defaced, it might still bear testi mony to the genius of the artist whose mind conceived it, and whose hand wrought it ; — but, if unskilfully repaired, the original design must of necessity be yet more defaced and obscured ; so that a true judgment could scarcely be formed of its original excellence.

But at all times let the objections to an ancient reading be weighed, and let it be seen whether they have not simply sprung from some traditional notion as to what the meaning of a passage ought to be. Thus, in 2 Tim. iv. 1, the common text runs thus, διαμαρτύρομαι [οὖν ἐγὼ] ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ [τοῦ κυρίου] Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ : in our English version, “I charge [thee] therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” It is admitted that the words οὖν ἐγὼ and τοῦ κυρίου (placed within brackets above) are not genuine ; and also the best authorities have Χριστοῦ before Ἰησοῦ : but, besides these differences, the best authorities have καὶ τὴν ἐπιφ. instead of κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφ. And this last – mentioned variation has been pointed at as devoid of sense. But whence does the supposed difficulty arise? Entirely from the meaning traditionally assigned to διαμαρτύρομαι, which has been taken as though it expressed a charge given to Timothy, for which purpose “thee” has been added in translating. But διαμαρτύρομαι means far more fitly, “I testify,” “I bear witness,” than “I charge,” and especially so in such a connection as this : see Acts xx. 21, 24. Of course, it is fully admitted that such a phrase as “I testify that” such a thing should be done, may, in its ultimate result, be equivalent to “I charge that” ; here, however, the case is wholly different. The following is then the form of the verse, as found in the oldest and best Greek and Latin copies : Διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζώντας καὶ νεκρούς καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ.

“Testificor coram Deo et Christo Jesu, qui judicaturus est vivos ac mortuos, et adventum ipsius et regnum ejus.”
“I bear witness in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the quick and dead, both to His appearing and His kingdom.”

Thus the ancient copies really contain a very good meaning, and one which would , no doubt, have been seen at once, if it had not been obscured by a kind of traditional misapprehension. To this it may be added, that the order of the words in the Greek, as thus corrected, being somewhat opposed to modern idiom, may have aided in perpetuating the misapprehension.

(S.P. Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament pp. 196-197)


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